Mary Kay’s Annual Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party Brought Out The Pink With A Surprise Reward For Attending Domestic Shelters

Barb Podbelsek may have looked like your typical shopper returning a purchase on Thursday, July 13. After parking her car across the way from Bachendorf’s, she carried a red jacket on a hangar to Tootsies. Oh, but rethink that one. Barb was taking her gently worn jacket to a private get-together at Tootsies. The jacket was to be part of the annual Suits for Shelters program that provides professional attire and accessories for women in area shelters.

Barb Podbelsek, Jana Jones and Theresa Powerski

As Barb handed over the jacket, domestic violence experts like Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein and Bianca Jackson, Attitudes and Attire’s Annabelle Baxter and The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill, Mary Catherine Benavides and Shivangi Pokharel Perkins were on hand.

Mary Catherine Benavides, Shivangi Pokharel Perkins and Melissa Sherrill

Alas, this clothes collection kick-off was to be the last one for Shivangi. She was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina? The reason? Her husband’s job.

Speaking of The Family Place MIAs, CEO Paige Flink was nowhere in sight. Seems she was taking a break in West Virginia with husband Randy Flink.

Nikki and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and models

Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb scoured the crowd for his wife, Nikki Webb. Perfect timing. She was just walking in as the 100 guests like Jana Jones, Theresa Powerski, Jennifer and Aaron Tobin, Tracy and Abe Minkara, Teresa Flores, Anne Crews, Diana Franzetti, Nancy Thomason, Michaela and Trey Dyer, Ashley Montgomery Lyon, Nancy Gopez, Cindy and Brian Hanson, Amy and Chase Laws, Hadley and Travis Galt, Colleen Jamieson, Bill Bernstein, Genevieve Peterson and emcee Cynthia Izaguirre headed upstairs for the evening’s program hosted by the Tootsie’s crew including Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Land and Dustin Holcomb.

Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Lander and Dustin Holcomb

Crayton admitted that in the days ahead, he would be doing heavy-duty babysitting for the four little Webb-sters. The reason? Nikki is co-chairing the Junior League of Dallas’ Milestones Luncheon on Friday, November 17, at the Hilton Anatole with Co-Chair Jennifer Scripps. Decked out in white, Nikki reported that in addition to Linda Perryman Evans receiving the Sustainer of the Year award, the speaker will be Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. That’s all Nikki could reveal as she and Clayton hustled upstairs for the evening’s program.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

As Mary Kay Ash grandson Ryan Rogers tried to juggle his microphone and a glass, wife Maleiah Rogers was the dutiful wife, walking over and relieving him of the glass. After Ryan told of his grandmother’s longtime concern and support of women in domestic violent situations, he asked all to toast the work of those in domestic-abuse efforts. But just as he realized he had nothing with which to toast, Maleiah was back on the spot returning his glass.

Speaking of Ryan and Maleiah, they looked rather flawless. When asked their secret, they chimed in — Mary Kay products! Maleiah reeled off the whole product line and finished it with Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream. One woman upon hearing that last one nudged her gal pal and said, “Then I want a bath tub of the stuff. Just look at her.”

Ryan also reminded the guests that the next week would be the national gathering of Mary Kay associates.

According to Crayton, roughly 30,000 of them would be assembling in Dallas for the four-day convention, providing the city with “two to three times the economic impact of Texas-OU weekend.”

When it came to the evening’s highlight, there was a problem. The big draw of the night was the raffle item donated by the Rogerses — $5,000 to the domestic violence group chosen by the winning ticket holder. Alas, Piers Hurley was the lucky winner, but he just couldn’t pick just one. Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the perfect solution: “All event program beneficiaries (Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army DFW and The Family Place) in attendance at the event would receive $5,000 donations to help support their work and help survivors of domestic violence!”

JUST IN: Dallas Market Center CEO/President Cindy Morris To Receive Attitudes And Attire’s Kim Dawson Attitude Award

Attitudes and Attire Founder/Executive Director Lyn Berman has just revealed that Dallas Market Center CEO/President Cindy Morris will be the recipient of the 2018 Kim Dawson Attitude Award on Friday, February 23, in the Dallas Trade Mart’s Grand Pavilion.

Cindy Morris*

According to Lyn, “Cindy is a successful role model for all women, and we are thrilled to introduce her as our 2018 Kim Dawson Attitude Award recipient. I am grateful to Cindy and Dallas Market Center for their continued support of Attitudes and Attire over the past 21 years.”

Established in 1998 to “honor individuals whose standout personality and accomplishments exemplify the potential of all women. Named after the iconic Kim Dawson, the award recognizes individuals who are confident and committed with a high degree of integrity.”

Past award recipients have included Karen Farris, Caroline Rose Hunt, Sarah Losinger and the late Ebby Halliday.

Serving as honorary co-chairs for the 22nd Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show will be Susannah Denney and Jeff Hensley of Equest’s Hooves for Heroes Veterans Program.  

Since its founding in 1996, Attitudes and Attire has helped more than 21,000 women have their confidence restored through three programs

  • Core Program (Job Readiness and Self-Esteem Workshops),
  • Hopeful Smiles Restorative Dental Program and
  • Boots to Heels Women Veterans Program.
* Photo provided by Attitudes and Attire

Falling Temperatures Welcome Fall And The Need To Let Go

Well, yahoo! Get that duvet out and cozy up to a mug of hot cocoa. Tomorrow morning when you exercise those real and faux eyelashes, there’s gonna be a nip in the air. Open the door and that adorable nose is gonna inhale a crisp sniff of morning air courtesy of Mother Nature.

As promised, the cool front moved in overnight, but it didn’t exactly bring along temps that require nuclear-heated blankets, ice storm warnings, or even the need to hitch up your pack of huskies to the family sled. Those days are yet to come.

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

Instead, North Texas is easing into the cooler times of fall, when leaves turn orange, gold and brown before kissing lawns.

And while the outdoors beg for you to take a walk or settle down on your fav patio, think about your closet. There are so many old-timers there that you just know you’ll never ever wear, even if you lose that final ten. Why not donate and allow your past loves to bring wonderfulness to someone else?

If you need a suggestion for clothes adoption centers, think about The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon, Goodwill and Attitudes and Attire for starters.

And talking about closets, what about that linen hideaway? Betcha there are blankets in there that could really help warm someone on a chilly night instead of chilling in the closet. The folks at Goodwill and Dallas Animal Services have residents that would appreciate ’em.

Mary Kay Foundation’s 2016 Suits For Shelters Fashion Celebration Was Definitely In The Pink At Tootsies

As so many have realized recently, domestic violence doesn’t take a second off. Whether it’s in the low-income community or the highfalutin neighborhoods, anger and physical abuse are not limited to one ZIP code.

But on Wednesday, July 20, the Suits for Shelters program celebrated the hope for many suffering from domestic violence. It was the annual fashion show at Tootsies benefiting the Mary Kay Foundation‘s effort to collect clothes for victims trying to find new lives of independence. And pink was definitely the color the day!

It was a great turnout of frontliners in the battle against abuse. The Family Place’s VP of Development Melissa Sherrill was standing in for The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink , who was MIA. It seems that after 25 years of working at The Family Place, Paige was on a sabbatical that had coincided with the Suits for Shelters get-together.

On the other hand, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein in her most adorable explosion of pink sundress said that she was already on the search for the Genesis Luncheon 2017 speaker. OK, so she admitted that to outdo 2016 speaker Tyler Perry was going take some doing, but Jan enjoys a good challenge, don’t you know.

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

But the true-blue standouts of the evening were Maleiah and Ryan Rogers. Gee, were these two made by Mattel? They greeted one and all with graciousness and dang! They looked so fabulous. Ryan’s grandmother, the late Mary Kay Ash, would have been so proud to have seen her mission to help those overcoming domestic violence being carried on by Maleiah and Ryan.

Mary Kay Foundation that is the driving force of the event also had Mary Kay Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility VP Crayton Webb, who had missed last year’s event due to a trip to China. Now, the father of three sons and a brand new daughter was looking over the crowd for his wife Nikki Webb, who was on her way.

It’s hard to imagine a more dedicated advocate in the battle against domestic violence than HeROs President Crayton, but the March birth of a daughter has made his mission even more personal.

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

All too soon the capacity crowd including Nancy Gopez, Kris Johnson, Melissa Cameron and Michaela Dyer, moved upstairs for the fashion show. After the welcomes by Emcee WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre, Ryan, Crayton and Tootsies Store Director Nerissa von Helpenstill, the fashions were on parade worn by WFAA’s Alexa Conomos and Charlotte Huffman, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Kellie Rasberry, Attitudes and Attire’s Evelyn Earl, Battered Women’s Foundation’s Roze Kluttz, Brighter Tomorrows’ Tina Strand, Denton County Friends of the Family’s Alicia Froidl, Dress for Success’ Karis Renee, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Tamika Jackson, Hope’s Door’s Megan Rutherford, Mosaic Family Services’ McKenzie Hoopfer, New Beginning Center’s Rhonda Aicklen, Safe Haven of Tarrant County’s Dakota Hart, The Salvation Army’s Vicki Wheaton, The Family Place’s Ericka Johnson and Mary Kay’s Marci Burns, Morgan Calhoun and Lisa Petty.

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Suits for Shelter fashion show

Suits for Shelters fashion show

Then the raffle took place with the highlight being the announcement of the winner of the $5,000 donation in the name of the winner to a domestic violence group.  Provided by Maleiah and Ryan, this item is the most-sought-after of the raffle packages for the nonprofit representatives. The moment Esmerelda Rodriquez’s name was called was electric. Irving-based Brighter Tomorrows’ CEO Diana Franzetti was truly beside herself. It seemed pretty obvious which organization Brighter Tomorrows’ Board Member Esmerelda was going to pick.

On a sidenote: Tootsies’ Sales Manager Dustin Holcomb admitted that the entire Tootsies’ family was still adjusting to life without Tootsies’ founder Mickey Rosmarin. Still Dustin assured that the Dallas operation was not only carrying on, it was going to celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Attitudes And Attire 20th Anniversary Fashion Show And Luncheon

After last year’s weather challenge, Attitudes and Attire Executive Director/Founder Lyn Berman must have cut a deal with Mother Nature to have perfect conditions for the 20th Anniversary of Attitudes and Attire’s Fashion Show and Luncheon on Friday, February 26. The sun was shining; the turnout was stellar; the Eileen Fisher and A&A Boutique fashions hit the catwalk; and the stories received standing O’s.

Attitudes And Attire fashions

Attitudes And Attire fashions

Attitudes And Attire fashions

Attitudes And Attire fashions

Attitudes And Attire fashions

Attitudes And Attire fashions

Attitudes And Attire fashions

Attitudes And Attire fashions

While the post is being finalized, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for a look at the people and runway action.

As The Chill Approaches, It’s Time To Part Company With Old Pals

Ralph Lauren sweater and shawl

Ralph Lauren sweater and shawl

The weather is going to dip to the chilly level this weekend and there are loads of bargains. Translation: Perfect time to go shopping for those items to stave off the cold. A Ralph Lauren turtleneck with shawl wouldn’t be bad. A fluffy duvet with a King Pheasant duvet cover would be peachy to snuggle under. And, of course, a new Paddington coat would be just perfect.

But, wait! Where to put these new must-haves? Simple answer. Edit that closet. There’s “stuff” in there that hasn’t seen the light of day in seasons.

Face it. They’re old friends that were spectacular in their day. And like an old friend, they shouldn’t be abandoned, nor should they grow old and stale in an old closet.

Aha, you know where this line of thinking is going. Why not put your mind in that gut-wrenching place, go through your closet and have a going-away party for those clothes and blankets that you no longer need. After wiping away the tears, take them to Goodwill, Attitudes and Attire, The Family Place Resale Shop, Genesis Benefit Thrift Store or your fav shelter.

Not only might you be providing warmth for a total stranger, but your “old friend” might just give that person a new lease on life and get them headed in a totally new and better direction.

Round Robin November 6: Attitudes & Attire KO, The Flora Awards And Champions For Children Award Dinners

November has a tendency to have spectacular weather and Thursday, November 6, was a masterpiece. As the cars strove to drive home, the most perfect ball glowed in the sky. It was the moon that had that special glow that seems to only seen highlighting crows or on the wings of fireflies. The evening was the perfect kiss by Mother Nature on her sister Mother Earth.

Ellen and Clayton Kershaw prepared for thousands to attend their first Dallas Kershaw’s Challenge at The Rustic. Over at the Angelika, the Stars and Stripe Film Festival was kicking off its two-day run of movies honoring vets with a red carpet and Lynn and Allan McBee as co-chairs and benefiting the Sons of the Flag. Other happenings taking place throughout the area included:

Attitudes and Attire

Some may dismiss Attitudes and Attire as an outlet for gently experienced fashions to find new homes with those in needs of assistance. But there’s so much more like its “Boots to Heels” program the helps female vets adjust to civilian life thanks to the efforts of A&A Founder/Executive Director Lyn Berman. In preparation for their 18th Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show, they held their kick-off party at Bachendorf’s.

Lyn Berman and Robin Akin*

Lyn Berman and Robin Akin*

The big news revealed were two-fold. First the recipient of the Kim Dawson Award that “honors a woman whose standout personality and accomplishments exemplify the full potential of all women. For 2015 the honor will go to Ret. Brig. Gen. Robin Akin, who spoke so eloquently at the 2014 luncheon.

Also, announced was the honorary chair for the Friday, February 27th luncheon at the Dallas Trade Mart will be Ellen Terry.

Mary Brown and Client, Michelle*

Mary Brown and Client, Michelle*

With former ESPN’s Kelly Webster serving as the evening’s emcee, one of the evening’s highlights was a former A&A client, “who credited the agency with teaching her how to set boundaries and short-term and long-term goals as well as the importance attire can play in your self-esteem.”

The Flora Award

Suzy Rhodes

Suzy Rhodes

Stacey Beck

Stacey Beck

A black tie crowd of nearly 200 filled the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park for the annual Flora Awards dinner chaired by Stacey Beck. Honorees Suzy and Tom Rhodes were surrounded during the reception by the likes of Myriam and Randall Graham, Debbie and Nickey Oates, Billie Leigh Rippey, Cindy and Charlie Feld, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Denis Boulle, Bobbie Sue and Phil Williams and past honorees Caroline Rose Hunt and Barbara Hunt Crow. Honorary Chair Jan Pickens was unable to attend.

Barbara Hunt Crow

Barbara Hunt Crow

Randall Graham

Randall Graham

Bobbie Sue Williams

Bobbie Sue Williams

Once the reception was just about to bust at the seams, the doors to the Grand Hall with its wall of floor-to-ceiling windows were opened and a glorious dinner prepared by Cassandra. And, of course, the tables were fabulous with floral creations by Junior Villanueva’s Garden Gate.

Table setting

Table setting

The Champion Of Children Award Dinner

Kimberley and Scott Sheffield

Kimberley and Scott Sheffield

Since its establishment in 1998, Dallas CASA’s Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award has been presented to individual except for 2006, 2011 and 2012. Those years the award named after the late Judge was given to Archon Group L.P., Southwest Airlines and ExxonMobil and its employees and retirees, respectively.

On this evening, a fourth company was recognized along with its employees — Pioneer Natural Resources.

Named after the late Judge Barefoot Sanders, “the award is given annually to recognize community leaders, who significantly improve the lives of children in our community, particularly those who young lives have been marked by abuse, neglect or other adversity.”

Representing Pioneer was its Chairman of the Board/CEO Scott Sheffield and his wife Kimberley.

Kathleen LaValle and Rob and Linda Swartz

Kathleen LaValle and Rob and Linda Swartz

Dallas CASA Executive Director/President/longtime volunteer Kathleen LaValle and the staff were thrilled when Barefoot’s widow Jan Sanders said she was interested in becoming an Advocate herself.

It turned out that Jan wasn’t the only ones, as other guests were inspired by the event chaired by Linda and Rob Swartz and Honorary Chair Frank Risch.

Jim Lozier and Frank Risch

Jim Lozier and Frank Risch

In addition to former foster child Joseph Head’s giving a moving talk about how CASA had been life-changing for him, a powerful video was shown with Co-Chair Linda telling about growing up in poverty and her own experience as a teenager growing up in Georgia as a foster child.

No wonder it was a record-breaking night with more than $600,000 raised with nearly 500 attendance.

Yup, it was a beautiful night for the moon and the Dallas fundraisers.

* Photo credit: 
Marcus Lopez

Tables All Set For Friday Lunches

You have absolutely no excuse to be eating at your desk. If you’re downtown, head over to the Meyerson for Empty Bowls benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.

If you’re further north on Stemmons, drop in at the Trade Mart where Attitudes and Attires is having its lunch that was postponed from February 2nd because of the storm of the century.

Weather Cancellations . . .

So far, here are some cancellations that have landed in the MySweetCharity box:

This afternoon — This evening’s “Leading Ladies” progressive shop-a-thon at Highland Park Village is canceled due to the weather. Tomorrow night’s dinner at Bailey’s Prime Plus is still on.

Tomorrow — As noted in a previous post, Attitudes & Attire luncheon has been postponed to this Friday. . . same time of day, same place.

Thursday — XLV Concert at the Cotton Bowl featuring the Village People is canceled.

While these decisions have not come easily, organizers are basing their decisions on the safety and well being of their patrons.

If you know of any other cancellations, send them to us and we’ll help spread the word.